While many regulators across the world were fairly quick about approving Microsoft's acquisition of Activision Blizzard, the United Kingdom's Competition and Markets Authority (CMA) has seemed far more cautious about letting this giant deal go through. That's why today's announcement is all but an official joining of Xbox Game Studios and Activision Blizzard.
Because the CMA has delivered a new report to publicly announce a change of thought about Microsoft's Activision Blizzard acquisition after getting a lot of new evidence in response to the provisional findings they shared back in February. To make a long report short, the CMA's new provisional conclusion is that approving the deal:
"will not result in a substantial lessening of competition in relation to console gaming in the UK".
The main reason for this is that the new data indicates that making Call of Duty and other popular Activision Blizzard franchises and games exclusive to Xbox consoles and PC would not be commercially beneficial. It would in fact lead to a significant loss because of PlayStation's market share and the amount of CoD players on PlayStation.
That's not to say Microsoft can pop the champagne right now, as the CMA is still concerned about how this merger could affect cloud gaming services, so nothing will be set in stone before the final report gets delivered by April 26 at the latest. Still, this is basically Activision Blizzard having more than a foot inside Microsoft's door.